Into the Freylakh | Into the Freylakh

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Jazz: World Fusion World: Yiddish Moods: Mood: Fun
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Into the Freylakh

by Into the Freylakh

Into the Freylakh plays modern Klezmer with Jazz and Classical influences. "'Freylakh,' in Yiddish, means 'joy.' Into the Freylakh, whatever it is playing, dives into that joy and invites you to join." - Sandor Slomovits, Ann Arbor Observer, March 2003
Genre: Jazz: World Fusion
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Tracks

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1. Grichesher Tantz
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4:35 album only
2. Der Rebbe Elimelech
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2:24 album only
3. Der Heyser Bulgar
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4:24 album only
4. Firn Die Mekhatonim Aheim
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6:34 album only
5. Hot Sabra
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4:01 album only
6. Ma Navu
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4:55 album only
7. Spanakopita
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6:24 album only
8. Beit Hamikdash
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6:33 album only
9. Lenox Road
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8:48 album only
10. Oyfn Pripetchok
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2:59 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The following is an excerpt of a review of Into the Freylakh, written by Sandor Slomovits, which appeared in the March 2003 Ann Arbor Observer.

It is Avant-Jazz night at the Firefly Club in Ann Arbor, MI. So what is the Klezmer band "Into the Freylakh" doing on stage? Isn't Klezmer, with its roots in medieval Eastern Europe, the music my great-grandparents danced to at their wedding in the old country? Doesn't the intricately ornamented melody spinning out of bandleader Bryan Pardo's clarinet echo the vocal improvisations cantors have chanted for ages in synagogues from Budapest to Brooklyn? Isn't "Rebbe Elimelech, " the Yiddish equivalent of "Old King Cole," which Jennifer Goltz is so gleefully belting out in her sparkling soprano so old that only musicologists can trace its origins? This is cutting-edge music?

But listen some more. Even on the most familiar songs there are surprises...and check out the complex Jazz/Classical influences in the long, look-Ma-only-two-hands piano intro that Isaac Schankler fashions for the simple Israeli folk song "Ma Navu." ....Then there is the Pardo original "Spanakopita." Klezmer in seven? Try dancing the kazatski to that!

As eclectic as all this sounds, Into the Freylakh is actually solidly in the Klezmer tradition. Klezmer has always traded with the musical cultures that surround it. The klezmorim of old listened to the folk and classical music of Eastern Europe. Immigrant Klezmer musicians, transplanted to the New World in the early twentieth century, listened to Tin Pan Alley, Dixieland and Swing. Today's Klezmer practitioners are often conservatory trained (as are the majority of Into the Freylakh) and listen to modern Classical composers and Coltrane.

Freylakh, in Yiddish, means "joy." Into the Freylakh, whatever it is playing, dives into that joy and invites you to join. The New York subways used to have bakery ads that read: " You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's," and you don't have to speak a word of Yiddish, or have grandparents from Galicia, to be moved by this music.


Reviews


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Zac Johnson - All Music Guide

A bright glimpse into what could be the future of klezmer.
Wildly skipping along the narrow gap between traditional klezmer and experimental jazz, the Ann Arbor, MI-based group Into the Freylakh blasts through radically updated traditional klezmer tunes and inventive traditionally minded originals. Loosely organized around clarinetist Bryan Pardo, Into the Freylakh augments the time-honored structures of conventional Jewish music with bop jazz drumming and some serious Sketches of Spain-era Miles trumpet stylings courtesy of Tal Kopstein. These seemingly disparate elements gel tightly in bright instrumentals like "Hot Sabra" and the frenzied "Spanakopita," while vocal numbers like the whirling "Der Rebbe Elimelech" and the heartbreaking "Ma Navu" are highlighted by the sparkling soprano of Jennifer Goltz. Recorded live in the studio, the album has a very warm, natural feel, reflected in both the frenzied celebration of "Grichester Tantz" and "Oyfn Pripetchok," the cradling lullaby that closes out the album. The members of Into the Freylakh keep one eye looking behind them while their music pushes them ever forward; the result is truly an amalgam of everything that has come before it, and a bright glimpse into what could be the future of klezmer. — Zac Johnson

Stacy

fabulous!
I used to wait eagerly for chances to hear Into the Freylakh live in Ann Arbor when I lived there (in 2001-2002), and this CD does those shows justice. It's the best possible mixture of klezmer, jazz, and plain musical talent.